Study Guide

Blood Meridian Chapter 14

By Cormac McCarthy

Chapter 14

  • It's time for Glanton and his crew to enter another town! By this point, you can probably guess how they'll treat the people there…
  • In the evening, the men run and dance drunk in the streets. A priest comes out with a crucifix and scolds them, but they just beat him up. A funeral procession goes through the town, but the men just laugh and make jokes about death. In case you haven't realized, there's isn't a whole lot they respect in this world.
  • During this stay, Glanton gets a serious fever and goes half crazy. They have to tie him to a bed because he's been shooting randomly in the streets.
  • A little boy comes up to the judge and offers to sell him a puppy. The judge buys two from him and then pitches them in a nearby river. Bathcat walks by at this same moment and uses the little floating dogs as target practice. And yes, these guys are getting cartoonishly evil at this point. Now they're killing cute little puppies for the fun of it.
  • Glanton eventually gets free of his bed. The first thing he does is take down a Mexican flag and tie it to the tail of a mule and drag it through the mud. This is too much, because someone in the town shoots the mule out from underneath Glanton. He fires in all directions and kills an old woman. His buddies join him and start firing at the upper windows of the buildings around them, looking for the shooter. Two of Glanton's men die in the firefight. Glanton and his men escape back into the desert.
  • They aren't in the desert long before they come upon a line of mules and men carrying stuff out of a mine. The road is narrow and bordered by a cliff on one side. So Glanton and his men decide to attack the mule-men and force them off the cliff. When they're done massacring these people for no reason, they ride on.
  • The group realizes soon enough that they're missing John Jackson. The judge and the Delaware scouts ride off and come back with him. He's totally naked, but alive.
  • One evening, the judge takes out his ledger again and Toadvine asks him about it. The judge says that he needs to know as much as possible about the world because "Whatever in creation exists without my knowledge exists without my consent" (14.61). So it's clear here that the judge has some sort of God complex, thinking that he is a being higher than any normal mortal. And who knows? Maybe he is.
  • Toadvine argues that no one can ever know anything, but the judge seems to think he can.
  • Glanton's crew rides into another town and… yep… trashes the place.

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